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The Access Group

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The Access Group
File:The Access Group logo.svg
IndustrySoftware consultancy and developer
Founded 📆UK (1991)
Founder 👔
Headquarters 🏙️Stratford st Mary, UK
Area served 🗺️
Key people
Chris Bayne, CEO[1]
Products 📟 Access Dimensions, FocalPoint, Dimensions Lite, SupplyChain (ERP), Access Insight, thankQ, GoldMine (CRM), Dashboard, Service Manager, SelectHR, SelectPay (HR & payroll), Access Delta, TeamSeer, PeoplePlanner.
Revenue🤑 £143.1m (2018)[2]
Number of employees
1500 (2019)[2]
🌐 Websitetheaccessgroup.com
📇 Address
📞 telephone

The Access Group is a software consultancy and developer, selling primarily to UK mid-market businesses [3] with 19 offices across the UK and France[4] The organisation was founded in 1991 with its current structure formed in June 2009 following the absorption of five companies[5] into a single operation. Since 2011, Access has been mostly owned by Private Equity companies, first Lyceum Capital, then from 2015 TA Associates and in 2018 Hg Capital.[6]


1991-1995: Early development[edit]

This period saw founding company Access Accounting focus on building its business and accounting software. Early products included entry-level accounting systems such as Access Horizons and Access Foundations.

1996 - 2007[edit]

In 1996, Access Accounting developed Access Dimensions. This was joined by middleware application Transaction Broker (1998) to facilitate integration at mid-market level. Integration with Microsoft Office (2002) and Outlook Today (2005) saw the company’s initial entry into Business Intelligence software.

Other software releases include integrated CRM, Dimensions Manufacturing/BoM (Bill of Materials) and Access Analytics ‘data cube’ technology (2006), followed by a reverse change VAT upgrade in 2007 to combat carousel fraud.

2008 - 2011[edit]

In 2008, Access Accounting released Accounting for Carbon Emissions (ACE) to help businesses calculate and understand the amount of CO2 they produce.

In 2009, the company released its web-based solution FocalPoint.

The company re-branded in June 2009,[7] absorbing Access Accounting and its four subsidiaries to become Access Group. Recent additions include Stock Forecasting functionality (2009) and a Dashboard business intelligence product (2010). The company added HR to its portfolio in 2010 via the acquisition of Canterbury-based Select Software.[8] The company was rebranded Access Select.

In 2011, the group launched its web services API Application Programming Interface, allowing its financial software to be integrated with third-party, on-premises software. In the same year, Access Mobile was released, making functionality such as timesheets and expenses available on the iPhone [9] and BlackBerry.

2011 - 2017[edit]

In March 2011, there was an MBO of Access led by its existing directors and private equity firm Lyceum Capital.

Since then Access has grown both through continued double-digit organic growth and acquisition. It has acquired the following companies/technologies:

  • DeltaWMS - warehouse management software
  • Prelytis - SaaS-based business intelligence software
  • thankQ - fundraising and CRM software for the not-for-profit sector
  • Sazneo -SaaS-based communication technology
  • TeamSeer - SaaS-based absence management solution
  • PeoplePlanner - SaaS-based workforce management software
  • Rapidata - A direct debit bureau with a focus on the not-for-profit sector
  • First Choice Software - A leading provider of recruitment software[10]
  • HCSS Education - Offers industry leading software across your whole educational establishment[11]

2018 - Present[edit]

In April 2018, The Access Group raised additional funding from Hg Capital, giving the company an enterprise valuation of £1 billion.[12]

Following the injection of new investment from HG, there have been some additional acquisitions:

  • Design my night - A nationwide booking service for bars, pubs, restaurants and clubs[13]
  • ProcureWizard - A leading all-in-one hospitality management solution[14]
  • Microdec - A leading global supplier of specialist recruitment software[15]
  • Volcanic - SaaS-based website and marketing technology platforms for the recruitment sector[16]
  • Unicorn Training - Leading provider of learning technology solutions[17]
  • Joyful - Supplier of not-for-profit donor and member attraction website software[18]

In May 2019, The Access Group were highlighted as one of the UK's 'Tech Unicorns' alongside companies such as Monzo, Deliveroo, Brewdog and others[19]


  • Access Dimensions is a modular accounting and financial management suite including financials, job costing, stock control, document management, reporting and payroll.
  • Access Financials is a modern SaaS accounting and financial management suite including core finance, project ledger, job costing, document management, reporting and payroll delivered through Access Workspace
  • FocalPoint is a web-served portal which integrates with Dimensions-format databases, for viewing & approval, and other resources including purchase orders, invoices, expenses, timesheets and other items online.
  • SelectPay is a HM Revenue and Customs-approved payroll.
  • SelectHR is a .NET based solution including functionality such as recruitment, training, self-service and payroll integration.
  • Access SupplyChain is an ERP solution, with functionality for manufacturing, distribution and warehousing organisations.
  • Access Service Manager offers service management functions such as call centre management, job scheduling, PPM, contract management and meter billing.
  • Access Mobile extends functionality offered by Access FocalPoint such as expenses management and timesheets to mobile devices.
  • Access Dashboard offers a high-level view of the business, presenting key performance indicators (KPIs) through graphical charts and graphs.
  • Access Horizons and Access Foundations are entry-level accounting systems providing core financial functionality and a range of commercial tools for small to mid-sized businesses.
  • Access CRM is a customer relationship management tool with activity tracking, pipeline management and marketing tools delivered through Access Workspace
  • Access Alto Cloud Hosting is provided as a VMware and OpenStack managed cloud hosting solution with optional Disaster Recovery as a Service and Backup as a Service solutions.
  • Access TeamSeer is provided as a web-based workforce management system for automated staff absence approvals, tracking absenteeism and managing teams.


Access Group is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and is a member of the Business Application Software Developers Association (BASDA).[20] Individual Access solutions are accredited by industry authorities, including HM Revenue and Customs and the ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales).

See also[edit]

  • Comparison of accounting software


  1. http://www.theaccessgroup.com/about-us/meet-the-team.aspx
  2. 2.0 2.1 https://www.theaccessgroup.com/company/news/uk-tech-unicorn-the-access-group-reports-42-annual-turnover-growth-and-70-ebitda-growth/
  3. "FSN Business Systems News and Analysis".
  4. Stratford St Mary near Colchester, Harpenden, Sheffield, Canterbury, London City, Edinburgh, Canterbury, Hastings, Bangor, Manchester, Loughborough, Nuneaton, Dublin, and Paris. -"The Access Group office locations".
  5. Access Accounting, Armstrong Consultants, Access Accounting Ireland, Asyst Solutions and Access Supply Chain
  6. Gordon, Ollie (19 January 2015). "US private equity giant TA Associates swoops for Essex-based software firm Access Group". City AM. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  7. Access completes rebrand project with launch of new website
  8. Access acquires mid-market HR solutions provider Select Software
  9. iPhone expense management software released by Access | Access UK
  10. https://www.crunchbase.com/acquisition/the-access-group-2-acquires-first-choice-software-ltd--a6b06416
  11. https://www.crunchbase.com/acquisition/the-access-group-2-acquires-hcss-education--08cca4da
  12. https://www.hgcapitaltrust.com/news-and-media/press-releases/pr-2018/pr-10-04-2018.aspx
  13. https://barmagazine.co.uk/bar-listings-bookings-site-acquired-software-group/
  14. http://purchasinginsight.com/access-group-acquires-procurement-software-business/
  15. http://www.onrec.com/news/news-archive/access-acquires-microdec-and-continues-significant-expansion-of-recruitment
  16. https://www.businesscloud.co.uk/news/fast-growing-volcanic-acquired-by-access-group
  17. https://learningnews.com/news/unicorn-training/2019/the-access-group-welcomes-unicorn-to-the-family
  18. https://fundraising.co.uk/2019/05/14/access-group-acquires-joyful-to-enhance-charity-membership-suite/
  19. https://www.techworld.com/picture-gallery/startups/who-are-uks-unicorns-how-did-they-reach-their-valuations-3687718/
  20. Members

External links[edit]

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